Watkins Books of Cecil Court, off Charing Cross Road, London, is no more. Apparently they were lumbered with a massive tax bill from a previous owner – that, together with the collapse of price fixing in the book trade has seen it and other independant book stores go to the wall.
Watkins for those that do not know was until last week one of London’ – and the UK’s – leading occult booksellers. I myself have been a customer there! Now this means there are only two decent occult bookshops left in London – Atlantis, and Treadwells.
What is not generally known is that Watkins was the model for the Wizard’s Bookshop Flourish and Botts from the Harry Potter series of novels! I present the following evidence to back up my claim:
- Diagon Alley is clearly stated as being off Charing Cross Road. There is a pub at its top (the Leaky Cauldron).
- Cecil Court is just off Charing Cross Road. There is a licensed restaurant at its top. So not exactly a pub, but you can drink there, and one has to remember that J K is entitled to some artistic license (no pun intended).
- Both Watkins and Flourish and Botts are the leading bookshops for Wizards.
So all in all, QED.